In smooth pond

anchor

Garrick Tremain kindly forwarded this view in response to a query. It was published in the Otago Daily Times on Saturday, 28 March 2009.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

62 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Highlanders, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORC, ORFU, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

62 responses to “In smooth pond

  1. David

    Garrick has it spot on. You can’t remove quarter to half a billion dollars out of a city the size of Dunedin without it causing serious damage.

    $200m stadium + $90m interest + $100 depreciation + $35m roading, + over runs + ongoing running costs. ++++

    Some idiots think this will improve Dunedin’s economy, even though the vast majority will go to overseas banks, cement, steel, and an Auckland construction company.

    The net result is a massive financial loss for the city, for an “asset” that does less than the stadium we already have – we can’t even have A grade tests there.

  2. “vast majority will go to overseas banks, cement, steel, and an Auckland construction company.”

    this seems to preclude any construction in this city ever, as the money will come from overseas banks, not so sure about the concrete (that’s across the road), the steel – hmmm most massive structures are built out of the stuff, has to come from somewhere. And if it was a Dunedin construction company people would moan about conflict of interests or not enough expertise. Funny, they’ll be employing local people, or are these miraculously appearing from somewhere else too?

    Not so sure about your costs either, but then the StS has been infamous for pulling figures (oh and quotes) out of the air.

  3. David

    The point is ALL the money comes from local people, and only a minority of it will come back.

    Net effect – a substantial loss to Dunedin ratepayers, companies (additional $13,000 additional rates for the average commercial company – DCC figures), and social clubs, sports clubs, kindergartens and schools ($7m LESS funding from Otago Community Trust), and ORC ratepayers.

  4. All the money isn’t coming from local people, and we are yet to see what portion of it will come back to the people. If it is successful then the returns will be good to the community.

    You are already discounting RWC2011. I have a good friend with whom we figured out how to make a good dollar out of the rich home nations that will be playing in town. Then there are the U20 Mens and Womens FIFA world cups, both of which have been signalled to be played in NZ, and no the Callie is not big enough for officially sanctioned games. And this is just the beginning. As for the 300 or so construction workers, try telling them that there is a small amount coming back into the city.

    Finally these figures just don’t stack up with what has been through several accounting firms and peer reviews. Nowhere in the peer reviews does it say that this will be a massive loss making venture, and these are the precious peer reviews which Bev has been coveting.

    My Kindy or sports club has never received a grant from the Community Trust.

  5. David

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Interesting that CST seem to be double counting the private funding. They seem to have included corporate boxes and memberships in their capital funding, then they include it all again in the running costs. In reality they really only have a very small part of the $45 private funding needed.

    Paul – so we get one FIFA tournament where 250 people watch the midweek games, and then the organisers say never again.

    We are a little city. Our population does not warrant large concerts or tournaments – get over it.

    It’s just a vanity project that the rest of NZ are laughing about. Dunedin thinks it will be relevant if it has a little sports stadium with a roof? Get real.

    Projected use for rugby plus all other events – 15-20 days per year i.e. empty for 350 days. We would be better spending money that attracts people, like a pier at St Clair, linked to a tram that runs through Sth Dunedin, Princes St, Casino, Octagon, George St, Museum, Uni, Gardens, with a terminus at Baldwin St where the cable car goes to Mt Cargill. It would bring outside people into Dunedin EVERY day of the year – not just once every three years for a minor test match.

    Spending $200,000,000 to get a forecast 1/1000th return is nuts – total bonkers.

  6. David please don’t play this game it’s silly. If you are so willing to shoot down FIFA world cups and RWC2011 going purely by bums on seats, which of course fails to address the greater economic impact on the whole region. Your supposed mid week games with 250 people turning up is somewhat startling. You do know that FIFA stands for football, the biggest sport in the world, and that U20 or U23 world cups attract tens of thousands of visitors generating millions of dollars? I mean this does need clarifying, because it’s somewhat mystifying to think that if Dunedin gets some games, that we will be the first and only city in the world to not attract any supporters ever?

    How am I meant to take your suggestion of a tram serious. Yet you seem so authroratively certain that a bloody tram (taking in such high lights as Priness St) will work, without of course any figures to back it up. We just have to take your vision of possibilities as a sure thing yet mine for the stadium aren’t.

  7. David

    Paul – the stadium is unlikely to be full more than one day in 1000 – every three years or so when we get a b or c grade test. In the first few (with the rugby wld cup it will still only be 4 days in 1000).

    The return on the money is also 1 /1000.

    And to get this pathetic return, you’re relying on the majority of that to come from the “anchor tenant” who is a virtual bankrupt.

    And who refuses to even be an anchor tenant – they only want to be a casual venue hirer.

    So we get antartica vs nth pole soccer tournament once in a blue moon. So what. And we’re just as likely to get it if we don’t spend $200M.

    Unfortunately you are looking at a white elephant and seeing a golden goose.

  8. Richard

    THE COMMUNITY TRUST

    Elizabeth asks: “Has your kindy or sports club ever applied to the Otago Community Trust (OCT). Lots of local groups do, so long as they are eligible. And it will be $7M to the stadium that others miss out on.”

    Having been a trustee (and President) of the former OSB and its successor banks and a foundation trustee of what is now the OCT, I can assure you Elizabeth that is not the way it works at all. You erroneously make the assumption that there is “one big pot”. There may be in terms of what comes in but the Trust will almost certainly have covered the different categories of grant before determining on those which go to support MAJOR projects.

    Elizabeth says: “The local community established (by investment) the entities that became OCT.” Sorry, no they did not. The savings bank were places where people invested their savings and took out mortgages etc. They had no shareholding structure, they grew like the veritable ‘Topsy’. Indeed it was not until 1988 or thereabouts that they had any legal owners. That was when the Douglas reforms lead to the establishment of the Community Trusts as the legal owners on behalf of the community.

  9. Sorry David,

    I didn’t realise the date, boy did I take that bait. Nice posts, have a great day.

  10. David

    Elizabeth says: “The local community established (by investment) the entities that became OCT.”

    Richard says “Sorry, no they did not.”

    Otago Community Trust says “The Trust had its origins in the Dunedin Savings Bank, established in 1864 by public spirited citizens seeking to encourage thrift within the community, and distribute surplus profits to charitable causes. ” (with community distributions starting in 1878)

    And “The sale ended a 132 year ownership of the trustee savings bank by the community”

    The trust’s own website totally confirms Elizabeth’s statement.

  11. BTW, OK you don’t get how massive FIFA world cup is, that is your issue to resolve, but don’t apply false assumptions as to how it works.

    FIFA U23 Football World Cup is 3rd or 4th largest sporting event in the world, depending on which media you read, US or European. An NO we won’t get it anyway, FIFA has the most stringent (ie read, they don’t roll over and get shafted for the dollar like NZRFU does) criteria for their two premier competitions. NO we wouldn’t get it, it would stay in the northern cities with NEW stadiums and modern facilities. Don’t forget FIFA is more powerful than the Olympic organisation.

    But again, I’m assuming this is part of the 1 April wind-up, and I bloody well bought it again.

  12. David

    Elizabeth – interesting that the Otago Community Trust seem to be going against their own objectives and regulations, in donating $7,000,000 for the stadium.

    Objective
    “Providing positive balanced support for the people of Otago”

    It seems completely unbalanced when most projects are receiving sums in the low thousands

    Objective
    “Responsibly managing the resources entrusted to us”

    It doesn’t seem very responsible giving such a massive amount of money for a single facility, that duplicates an existing facility.

    “Applicants need to demonstrate”
    – a genuine need (has not been done)
    – community support (does not have it)

  13. David

    Paul, the stadium will cost the city $15,000,000 per year more than it earns.

    If we have a FIFA tournament every single month of the year, it still wouldn’t make financial sense.

    White elephant – not golden goose

  14. Richard

    Elizabeth: “And actually David’s reply is much better than mine to explain where OCT came from originally…my historical knowledge of it is slight and (completely) incomplete.”

    Well it came from the establishment of the Dunedin Savings Bank actually. The concept pretty much followed that of “co-operatives” which were favoured and flourished in “the south” in the years following European settlement. Those depositing and borrowing had no ownership or membership commitments (as compared with, say, a building society), and, in fact there were no legal owners of these institutions until the 1988 change that I referred to.

    “And actually David’s reply is much better than mine to explain where OCT came from originally…my historical knowledge of it is slight and (completely) incomplete.” Well no it isn’t really. All David has done is copy and paste from the OCT’s website. It does not contradict anything I said at all, just reinforces it.

    As for the surplus ‘profits’. Well I was President of the OSB/Trusteebank Otago when it doubled its distribution from $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

    No, I have not got the figures wrong. I repeat $100,000 to $200,000.

    Think about it!

  15. David

    Richard – the website confirmed exactly what Elizabeth said originally.- ““The local community established (by investment) the entities that became OCT.”

    If the community had never invested in the various banks, there would be no Otago Community Trust.

  16. Richard

    Goodness gracious me. Sometimes one can get literal.

    The depositors INVESTED their money to earn interest, by lending to each other and to make a return or “profit” on their deposit by payment of interest They did not INVEST in the bank by way of taking ownership.

    It is not worth arguing about!

  17. David

    Richard – you are the only one hung up about ownership – it it irrelevant.

    Of course people invest to get interest, but they chose DSB / OSB because the profits go back to the community.

    Hence the whole thing was originally set up to serve the community, and was invested in by the community – exactly as Elizabeth and the OCT website say

  18. Richard

    Sigh! Have it your way but please check “exactly”. and “invest”. And, of course, tell us the extent of your “investing” and/or “contribution” and any term of service to the DSB, OSB, Trsuteebank, TBCT, CTOO and OTC.

  19. David

    Richard – the tangent you have flown off on is completely irrelevant, as is who I have worked for in the past, or the varying amounts of money I’ve had with OST, Trustbank or any of it’s other reincarnations.

    The original point is that a massive amount of $7 million given to duplicate a rugby stadium, is $7 million that will not be spent on other community projects.

  20. Richard

    Sorry David, it is you who have gone off in a tangent. If you go back and read my original post, you will see that apart from drawing a distinction on “investment” and “ownership” etc, I was simply setting out how the OCT usually provides for its grants and that the smaller organisations would almost certainly be provided for in the OCT budgets.

    You now say: “The original point is that a massive amount of $7 million given to duplicate a rugby stadium, is $7 million that will not be spent on other community projects.” That is your opinion. But – and it is a very BIG BUT – you do not know that for a fact.

    Neither do I as I am no longer a member of the Trust.

    Even a cursory reading of successive Trust Annual Reports gives some background as to how the Trust has made its grants over the years.

    Elizabeth’s point that the smaller groups etc might “miss out” is not borne out by those lists.

    And, I am also certain, that the cutting back of the originally requested amount for the stadium of $10m to $7m sought by the CST confirms that.

    And, I would be very surprised if that is not so.

    Very surprised given the community background and experience of trustees, present and past.

  21. “duplicate a rugby stadium”

    and while you continue to reduce the argument to this, there is very little ground for discourse or debate.

  22. David

    Richard says “You now say: “The original point is that a massive amount of $7 million given to duplicate a rugby stadium, is $7 million that will not be spent on other community projects.” That is your opinion. But – and it is a very BIG BUT – you do not know that for a fact. ”

    So you have some magic so the $7,000,000 can be spent TWICE?????

    Unless you have some magic, what I have said is a fact. If it is spent on the stadium, it cannot go to other projects.

  23. David

    But Paul, it IS a duplicate rugby stadium. Even the CST predictions show the vast majority of income is from rugby.

    Even the CST has dropped all but a few other events from their analysis, as they considered not very likely.

    Mind you, it’s par for the course that basic facts are barred from the debate.

    Analyse the financial benefits of the stadium, and you’ll see that 95% of them already come from Carisbrook.

    There’s very little difference in benefit to the city between a new stadium and the current situation.

    Except if you take into account the capital expenditure, interest and running costs, then there is a massive negative impact.

  24. No David the CST has NOT dropped all but a few other events from their consideration (I have no idea where you are getting this stuff).

    There will be no duplication of rugby stadiums, as the decrepit Carisbrook (single use stadium) will be demolished and a new stadium built. Luckily there were some bright sparks out there that thought, if they were to ask the city for a new Rugby stadium they would have rightfully been laughed away. So they looked around to see what was successful, and low and behold multi-purpose stadiums were, and a roof was one criteria necessary for this multiplicity of use blah blah blah… the world has been through this time and time again, and you simply ignoring “Basic Facts” reduces the argument to a nonsensical rant about something that simply isn’t happening. It’s a skin to running around Dunedin screaming “the Russians are coming”.

    If we were building just a new rugby stadium then yes there would be duplication, but we ain’t, so there aren’t. Come on, you are obviously a very intelligent person with vision (excuse the pun) etc, try thinking outside the box, as you did with the tram along a busy road route, it’s not that hard.

  25. Richard

    What a strange theory, David. The Trust does not simply spend all its income simply for the sake of it. Grants have to meet the criteria.

  26. Richard

    David:

    (1) “Analyse the financial benefits of the stadium, and you’ll see that 95% of them already come from Carisbrook.”

    (2) “There’s very little difference in benefit to the city between a new stadium and the current situation.”

    (3) “Except if you take into account the capital expenditure, interest and running costs, then there is a massive negative impact.”

    I would like you to expand on these, please – especially your point 3.

  27. Richard

    Addendum to David:

    Oh, I missed Paul’s response so perhaps it does not matter.

    I am, however, interested in just where you pluck these sort of figures from: “$200m stadium + $90m interest + $100 depreciation + $35m roading, + over runs + ongoing running costs. ++++”

    and, in particular, “double counting the private funding”.

  28. Richard

    I’m sorry if I ‘offended’ you Elizabeth. I was just trying to clarify the position from someone who has been involved first-hand with the bank and the Community Trust and that I did not believe you needed to fear “the small groups” losing out on their grants. because of the OCT’s decision to support the stadium.

    Then although I did not contradict what you said (or intend to) David decided to go “cut and paste”.

    There are dangers in that!

    And it does not add anything to the debate – for or against – on the stadium!

  29. KGB

    Richard said
    April 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm
    I’m sorry if I ‘offended’ you Elizabeth. I was just trying to clarify the position from someone who has been involved first-hand with the bank and the Community Trust and that I did not believe you needed to fear “the small groups” losing out on their grants. because of the OCT’s decision to support the stadium.

    Then although I did not contradict what you said (or intend to) David decided to go “cut and paste”.

    There are dangers in that!

    And it does not add anything to the debate – for or against – on the stadium!

    It does Richard when John Farry was the one who was making the OCT’s decisions in 2006-07

  30. Elizabeth

    In smooth pond. Words or inferences.

    Thinking up a short title for this thread to hold Garrick Tremain’s image, couldn’t help but notice the relatively smooth surface water, with drama and critique happening beneath. [talk about positioning…]

    The pond [my term] isn’t ‘golden’, it’s ‘deep’ enough for trouble and loss – all told, a place of fluid risk and bungling airless collapse.

    [she said: still cartoon from moving picture?] Hell, the producers responsible for the scene are few, bullying, loutish, “revenue-bent” [like the hyphen, put it there for special inference and meaning]. Not so ‘smooth’ individuals.

  31. David

    paul wrote “If we were building just a new rugby stadium then yes there would be duplication, but we ain’t, so there aren’t. ”

    The CST themselves in their projections show very little income from anything but rugby.

    You can call it “multi-purpose” til the cows come home, however the majority of examples we have been given of this are purely fantasy, the CST projections show very little income from them, and when audited, the CST have removed unrealistic uses.

    In other words, when “multi-purpose” is parroted over and over, there’s a very good reason why you can’t find anyone to believe you. Not even the CST is keeping up the charade.

  32. David

    Richard, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise if you spend $200,000,000 and your return is just $200,000 (CST projections) or in other words just 1/1000th of the input, then you’re losing a lot of money.

    Outgoing interest is $5,000,000 per year, so that alone makes a $4,800,000 loss.

    $100,000,000 of depreciation is missing. No one has been able to answer where it will come from except that it’s running costs (but it is missing from CST’s projected running costs).

    Face it Richard – everybody knows that Dunedin is being shafted by a small group of people, including some on council, who have conspired to rob the ratepayers and buy the bankrupt ORFU a new stadium. They won’t even have to pay for the running losses, and they get back more in ticket rebates than they have to pay for stadium rental (from CST figures).

    The whole thing is a crooked scam.

  33. Richard

    “Tonight, as I pondered marketing the Highlanders I picked up an opinion piece at Stuff’s Rugby Heaven, ‘Highlanders could do with a winning theme song’. First published in the Southland Times (last updated 14:01 03/03/2009).

    “The Highlanders’ “theme” song [Southern Man]…it’s got to go.”

    Really?

    Oh dear! Talk about a series of stuff-ups here!

    While the song and music of “Southern Man”, words by (then local) Murray Grindlay and Roy Meares, came to be associated with Otago Rugby and with ‘Speights’, it has never been ‘The Highlanders’ song. They have their own! Just ask Bill Acklin, he has performed it often enough at The ‘Brook!

    The character and legend of SOUTHERN MAN is depicted, of course, in the magnificent and much admired sculpture by Sam Mahon gifted to the region by Speights and sited on “neutral ground” at our airport.

  34. Bill Acklin

    Whoever it is that suggests the Highlanders ‘theme song’ is the Southern Man song has got it quite wrong! The southern Man song has only promoted the ‘Otago’ provincial team. The Highlanders have had their own ‘theme’ song which I wrote in 1997, and have performed at Carisbrook for the last 11 years. The Highlanders song is about the team and the aspiration to win. Not beer and girls!

    Bill Acklin

  35. Calvin Oaten

    So that’s it. The fortunes of the Highlanders, and by implication, rugby and the $200 million stadium, rests on the substance of a stupid theme song written in 1997. Not too dissimilar to the equally pathetic “I am Dunedin” rant which continues to blast our eardrums any time we ring the DCC customer services and are put on hold. “Unbelievable”!

  36. David

    Maybe they’ll need a new theme song, or at least new lyrics. How about….

    Otago Highlanders – That’s our name.
    Otago Highlanders – We don’t like rain.
    Otago Highlanders – Dancing is our game
    Welcome to the House of the (financially) insane.

  37. Elizabeth

    Catchy!! Easy to remember.

  38. Richard

    David seems to be referring to the original $50 million plus proposal for the DCC to acquire, do up ‘The Brook and vest its running in a Community Trust.

  39. David

    Richard – the emperor has no clothes. The citizens can all see it.

    But the emperor(s) have convinced themselves that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

    There is a reason why no one believes the emperors.

    That’s because they have failed (repeatedly) to come up with any believable figures.

    The numbers just don’t add up, and are tens of millions short of what is needed.

  40. David

    Richard,
    Doing up Carisbrook for $50m would mean spending just quarter the amount of money, and getting a return not a lot less than 100% of what’s projected for the new stadium. – it would save $150,000,000 for little difference in return.

    With just $250,000 per annum projected stadium hire for events other than rugby, it will take the new stadium 600 years to make up this amount of money.

    And you think doing up Carisbrook is financially insane?

    Perhaps Dunedin’s schools need to open up for free basic economics lessons for our pro-stadium citizens.

  41. Richard

    David:

    You need to do some homework. Start with my support for for the recommendation made by the Carisbrook Working Party in 2004. Start by searching the archives on this site and elsewhere.

    That apart, don’t expect any assistance from me.

  42. David

    Richard,

    So what are you saying – that doing up Carisbrook is financially insane, or that you support it?

    A simple unambiguous answer will be fine.

  43. Calvin Oaten

    $50 million to do up Carisbrook? Why on earth would the citizens be asked to do this?

    It’s the ORFU’s obligation if they seriously think there is a future for the game. The ORFU’s problem is the professional model.

    It is not, and never can be a commercial venture. Just look at where the money comes from and why. Rugby is simply a vehicle to create revenue for television and to leverage sales for the clothing (Adidas), alchohol and motor industries. Mug punters coming through the turnstiles is just a bit (a shrinking bit) on the side.

    In order to do this a requirement is stadiums in which to stage the displays. Those industries would not have a bar of building stadiums as that would kill the whole economic logic of the exercise.

    So, they set up an emotive campaign to seduce local bodies to provide the venues at the citizens’ cost. Pitch it to the parochial pride of the various territories and whip up the desire to win at all costs. Never mind that the teams are composites from all over. No local sons at all would not matter just so long as they wear the local uniform.

    Simple really. A monumental scam and our council has taken the bait hook line and sinker. Sad really.

  44. Richard

    No, David. What I am saying is “do your homework”.

    Much more productive than “shooting blanks”.

  45. David

    Richard – your answers are so vague and ambiguous they don’t really mean anything.

    You really think I should spend the evening doing internet reasearch in archives just to try to find out what you think about doing up Carisbrook, when you could have simply answered the question?

    Get real. If you can’t be bothered with a simple answer, then your opinion isn’t worth knowing.

  46. Richard

    Thank you, David. A frank admission that you do not do any research at all is not only illuminating but actually quite disarming.

  47. Richard

    Thank you, David. A frank admission that you do not do any research at all is not only illuminating but actually quite disarming.

  48. David

    Richard –
    1/ you lack the ability (or willingness) to state a simple straightofward opinion
    2/ you speak in riddles
    3/ you expect people to spend the evening looking at archives trying to find out what the hell you are talking about

    You clearly have an extraordinarilly high opinion of your opinion ( a lot higher than anyone else thinks of it).

    Find someone else to play riddles. I’ve more important topics to discuss, like the stadium.

    Goodnight

  49. Richard

    “If not a riddle it was certainly mystifying…[hoping not to misrepresent through paraphrase] since Richard’s personal view appears different to what Cr Walls, Chair of Finance and Strategy, hopes to achieve for the community.”

    Not really Elizabeth and no, you are not “going to suffer for these presumptions”!

    What you most helpfully do, is underline the distinction between my responsibilities as Chair of Finance and Strategy and my role as a councillor around the table. It is one that applies to all chairs.

    Put simply, as Chair, I control the meeting. In exercising that control, my principal objective is to facilitate free and open debate without intruding my opinion at every opportunity. Something that my predecessor did not do.

    The stadium issue has not, of course, been an easy one to handle and some of the meetings have been of marathon duration as you know.

    Nevertheless it has been rewarding. I have had complete co-operation from my colleagues around the table, whatever opinion they hold on the proposal. They have debated the issue vigorously, respected each other’s opinion and – as I have said on several occasions – “no one kicks the table over and spills the jigsaw”. So we do not waste time fitting it back together again at every meeting.

    As Chair of Finance and Strategy, I also see it as my responsibility to inform. That is something I do happily share with my predecessor, who wrote several Opinion Pieces for The Otago Daily Times.

    Back in February, in a two-part article in the ODT, I dealt extensively with the matter of why council borrows and how it manages debt. The figures and information referred to were taken from a mound of council reports, and annual and community plans – current and draft – including those which have been audited. They were checked by council’s senior financial manager.

    Despite the headline “Answering Stadium Critics” which emblazoned the first part, I ventured no personal opinion on the merits or otherwise of the stadium proposal and subsequently resisted a number of provocative attempts by contributors to the Comments blog to lead me down that track.

    That was not the purpose of the article, far from it.

    I was certainly interested in the opinions expressed and willing to engage with those who questioned the figures. That did not mean I expected agreement. All I am interested in is, “getting the information out”.

    I am certainly not impressed by the “rudeness” and personal attacks and innuendo which has been such a feature of the debate and far removed from what it is essentially about.

    What those responses again confirmed to me though, is how little understanding there is of council finances. That only just over 50% of our income comes from rates and, more particularly, the part that income from DCHL, the Waipori and Property Endowment Funds plays in reducing the rate demand.

    Somehow we have do better than we have on this although whether there is REAL interest in ‘affairs municipal’ unless something “sexy” like the stadium is at issue, is debatable.

    When it comes to the stadium, my position has always been very clear. I set it out in my pre-election ‘Report’ to all households in Hills prior to the 2004 and 2007 elections.

    Indeed in the 2004 election, I was the only candidate for council across the city who addressed in detailed terms, the question of whether the city and region needs a major multi-purpose stadium (covered or uncovered) or not.

    I said “that we did”. In 2004 that support was for the redevelopment of Carisbrook as came to be recommended by the Harland Working Party. As you observe, I have already set out the background to this.

    In 2007, the Carisbrook option was “off the table” as it has been since September 2006.

    I said “the Awatea Street option deserved “a fair go” and, as a councillor, that has been my consistent approach.

    It was not until 6 February, that I was satisfied with the overall financials, the position of the ORFU and moving to the final stage. The financials are a long way from those which I voted against in June 2007, as is the level of rating that was essentially found unpalatable by respondents to the ORC/DCC ratepayer survey and the statistically more accurate DCC Telephone Survey in May 2007.

    I simply note that the rate on the median property of $250,000 set out in that survey was $107 if applied to the General Rate and $88.50 if targeted (uniform). Somewhat different to the $57 now proposed to be levied! Curious why it passes un-noticed by both sides in the debate! Not really!

    The method of financing has also changed. In two years time, the loan for the stadium will not be serviced by a rate at all but by reducing the “dividend” or investment income by $5 million ($57 on the median property of $250,000 and pro-rata) when the ownership of the stadium passes to the new CCO – Dunedin Venues Management Limited. By then there may, of course, be no effective “reduction” depending on how the investments are working.

    I came on to this blog several months and was attracted to stay and make regular visits because of the reasonably high-level, focussed and really stimulating debate taking place on the stadium compared to elsewhere.

    I have frankly challenged a few (mis) interpretations others have made of any statements I have made, answered some queries, and posted clarifications. I intend to stick to that.

    I do not expect those holding a contrary view to agree with me. Some of my best friends do not agree with me – on the stadium and other issues. I sometimes do not agree with their views on certain subjects. But we still respect each other and enjoy the company.

    I will certainly not be seduced into blind alleys, or take notice of rudeness.

    People who speak with me about the stadium and other issues, just do not act like and use the language we are seeing on the blogs and in statements from the STS post the departure of several well-known members such as Elizabeth and Peter Entwisle with whom one could hold spirited, respectful and useful exchanges without getting personal.

    Down in “the gutter” is not the Dunedin way and I have never been there at any time in my public life.

    It is certainly not the robust debate on which democracy thrives and which the future of our city Dunedin needs – demands – and has so for some time. Paul and Elizabeth have, of course, plans in train to take this blog forward into that!

    Hopefully it will engender active interest in planning issues such as the redevelopment of South Dunedin etc and, indeed, the District Plan, which are ignored until it is to late and they become “nimby” issues. I look forward to it.

    The final decision on the stadium is by no means a certainty. When we come to consider that later this month, we will all have the same information on which to make the decision. What we have now is too much “own fact”!!

    The jigsaw is by no means complete.

    PS: Noted Australian radio commentator John Law’s advice to those who like “the view from the gutter” is to go visit Ayers Rock for a different take on perspective. Good advice!

  50. Elizabeth

    That has to be a most excellent reply, Richard. I say this simply without getting into ‘for’ or ‘against’ said stadium. Thankyou for taking the time to write it, appreciated.

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